PBL Works Supports Remote Learning

June 26, 2020: Volume 27, Number 13

PBL Works (Novato, CA), provider of professional development for project-based learning, is responding as schools try to educate and engage students with schools closed.

PBL CEO Bob Lenz told EER schools that had already engaged in project-based learning and in building capacity for students to be self-directed are benefitting from that earlier work. Some now need help in moving those initiatives to a remote environment, while other schools look for ways to begin project-based learning.

Webinar Series

PBL in April offered a free webinar series with practical guidance for facilitating project-based learning online with students. The series explained the challenges teachers can encounter as they design and facilitate project-based learning online, explored how educators can activate change to foster equitable learning environments that better equip all learners to reach their academic, vocational, and personal aspirations, and highlighted technology tools that work well for online learning.

Lenz provided the example of integrating the video conferencing tool Zoom with the student engagement platform Nearpod (Fort Lauderdale, FL) to help students connect and do interactive work.

Online Course

PBL in July will offer an online course created to help interested teachers gain the knowledge and strategies to become a project-based teacher. Instructors are PBLWorks faculty members who will lead a mix of live sessions, as well as lessons that participants complete on their own. Participants have the option to earn one graduate level professional development credit.

In the course, teachers will learn how to incorporate effective teaching practices they already use into the framework of project-based learning. Teachers can gain the skills to become a well-informed coach, a facilitator of learning, and a guide through the inquiry process as they form a learning partnership with their students.


To support parents and caregivers wondering whether their children have fallen behind in learning and how they might catch up, PBLWorks in June offered a free ebook with ideas and resources to help parents re-engage their children in learning during the summer.

Lenz said many parents struggled balancing their own work and having children at home. Some were dismayed by worksheet packets sent home that did not engage their children. PBL saw an opportunity to inform parents about project-based learning and to engage students as they built cognitive skills

Parents need resources that are both educational and fun with the same project available at different levels for different ages, according to Lenz. He gave the example of building a family recipe book by interviewing family members, creating and rating dishes and taking photos.

The ebook included 21 projects. To help parents get started, PBLWorks offered two free 45-minute webinars to discuss how to kick off the projects at home.

For more information about the wider professional development market, check out Simba Information’s 

K-12 Professional Learning Market 2020, publishing soon. To learn more, or to purchase the report, call 888-297-4622 or e-mail customerservice@simbainformation.com.




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